JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida man on vacation said he was inside the Notre Dame Cathedral just hours before it caught fire Monday.
Brycen Gagnon told WJXT-TV he had extended his vacation by one day, which he spent exploring the cathedral.
"I watched people drop to their knees. It was terrifying," he said.
Gagnon said that was the reaction to the sght of the steeple of the cathedral collapsing as fire consumed it.
He shot his own cellphone video capturing that moment.
"I had to control myself to keep from dropping my phone," he said. "Everyone around me was gasping and crying and in emotional distress. It was heartbreaking."
Gagnon took to Facebook, where he wrote: "Please say a prayer for the people of France because they are all over the street in just disbelief and in serious emotional distress."
Gagnon said he's in shock, much like people in Paris and people all around the world.
"It's disbelief, honestly. I haven't even went back to my room, yet, because I keep standing out here looking at it to be sure this really happened," he said. "It's hard to believe."
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